Crossplay matchmaking confirmed as post-launch feature for NHL 23, Franchise mode and gameplay changes detailed

And here we go.

Image via EA Sports

EA Sports is kicking off its promotion of NHL 23 in high gear as the publisher and developer of the hockey franchise announced that Trevor Zegras and Sarah Nurse will be on the game’s cover. A day later, EA announced what players can expect from the latest installment of the NHL franchise, and it all starts with crossplay.

NHL 23 will include crossplay matchmaking, a new addition designed to decrease wait times for online games. The addition of crossplay matchmaking will not come immediately; however, it will be added as a part of a post-launch update and will only encompass Hockey Ultimate Team (HUT) and EA Sports Hockey League (EASHL).

HUT will also include a refined reward system for HUT Rivals that will allow players to get rewards faster. Also, the top women from the IIHF will be in Hockey Ultimate Team.

For gameplay, this year’s title will certainly look to emulate the exciting and rambunctious playstyle of co-cover athlete Trevor Zegras. Over 500 new animations have been added to NHL 23, with many a part of new desperation and last chance goal mechanics that allow users to score goals in rather unorthodox ways. Additionally, goaltenders will receive new animations, giving netminders a different look in the cage.

The presentation will get an upgrade, as well. New presentation additions to NHL 23 include updated Stanley Cup championship sequences, modified lighting, and shadowing that will allow users to see the shadows of players and coaches, snow showers to the boards, and tweaks to the crowd. Players will see new hat trick celebrations from the fans and dynamic reactions that range from raucous cheers after a decisive victory to boos after a poor power play.

Related: Will NHL 23 be available for the PC?

Franchise Mode will see the addition of new ways to customize files. These options will include the ability to modify the number of games in a schedule, number of teams, number of Stanley Cup playoff participants, salary cap parameters, and players will be able to tweak the strategies to make sure that players are in the correct spots on the ice.

NHL 23 will be available on October 14, with those who purchase the X-Factor edition having access beginning on October 11.